Now, to paraphrase the great Dr. Seuss, that we’ve packed up “our presents, our ribbons, our wrappings, our snoof and our fuzzles, our tinglers and trappings,” we turn ourselves back to the more normal operations. During the dark, cold days of winter, the sparkle and good cheer help raise our spirits. In fact, the spirits help raise our spirits, too. Americans drink more alcoholic beverages from December through March – average blood alcohol content per person increases by nearly 50 percent. But we can take comfort that the long nights and lazy days have passed as the sun rises a bit earlier and stays a tad longer. Likewise, holiday vacations and year-end bonuses have come and most likely gone. We now look to the coming warmer weather to indicate the emergence of spring and a new season.
So for today we pass the time obsessed with political candidates and fleeting primary battles. The partisan parties triangulate and reposition with the emergence of rising and falling poll numbers. The contenders work furiously in a clumsy ballet of words and half-truths to distinguish themselves from each other and from their expected opponents would they advance to the general election in November.
If framed as mutual warriors working to improve the lives of we many Americans, they are friends. If framed as political antagonists (or worse) of the various idiots and scallywags deemed to be scraping for national attention, then, they are enemies. Are we served better by a process of conflict or one of cooperation? Is our nation better attended by a high contrast of ideas or explicit attempts at reconciliation? Can’t we all get along – or does something need to be said?? Maybe, the shorter days during the darker months aren’t the only reason for raising a frosty beer; we’re just tired of the conflict!